Julio César Chávez

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Julio César Chávez
Real name Julio César Chávez González
Nickname J.C.
El León de Culiacán
Weight Lightweight
Nationality Flag of Mexico Mexican
Birth date July 12, 1962
Birth place Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, Mexico
Style Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 116
Wins 108
Wins by KO 87
Losses 6
Draws 2
No contests 0
For this man's son, also a boxer, see Julio César Chávez, Jr.

Julio César Chávez González (born July 12, 1962 in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora) is a retired Mexican boxer.


[edit] Biography

[edit] Early life

Born to Rodolfo and Isabelita Chávez, Julio César Chávez is the fourth of ten children. He grew up in Culiacán, Sinaloa, and lived in Mexicali, Baja California, for a few years. He fought out of Culiacan and once said, "I will always live in Culiacan, because my whole life has been down there." He married the former Alba Amalia Carrasco.

[edit] Historic Career In Review

He won 5 world titles: WBC Super Featherweight (1984), WBA Lightweight (1987), WBC Lightweight (1988), WBC Super Lightweight (1989), IBF Junior Welterweight (1990), WBC Super Lightweight (1994) in 3 different divisions. Chávez also went undefeated for 89 bouts before originally retiring with a record of 104-5-2, with 80 knockouts. Among the world champions that Chávez defeated in his career are Edwin Rosario, Jose Luis Ramírez, Rocky Lockridge, Meldrick Taylor, Roger Mayweather, Sammy Fuentes, Héctor "Macho" Camacho, Juan Laporte,Tony López, and Frankie Randall, who had taken the WBC Light Welterweight Champion belt from Chávez just four months earlier. He lost to only two champions: Oscar De La Hoya and Kostya Tszyu, and was held to a draw by two others, Pernell Whitaker and Miguel Angel Gonzalez.

[edit] Controversy & Winning his 1st Title

In his twelfth fight, on March 4, 1981, Chávez faced Miguel Ruiz in Culiacan. At the end of the first round, Chavez landed a blow that KO'ed Ruiz. Initially, the blow which came at the bell was ruled a disqualification. The next day, however, after further review, the Mexican commission reversed the result and proclaimed Chávez the winner. Chávez's manager, Ramón Felix, was a member of that commission.

He won his first championship, the vacant WBC Super Featherweight title, on September 13, 1984, by knocking out fellow Mexican Mario Martínez at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Martínez was the betting favorite in that fight. He defended that title ten times, including a knockout over future champion Roger Mayweather.

[edit] Move To Lightweight & War With Meldrick Taylor

In 1987, he moved up to the lightweight division and brutally defeated Edwin Rosario (Puerto Rican) Angered by how Rosario had insulted the Mexican people before the match, Chavez gave him a vicious beating and won the title with an eleventh round TKO, to win the WBA lightweight championship. He unified the WBA and WBC belts in 1988 by winning a technical decision over José Luis Ramírez. A headbutt opened a cut on Ramírez's forehead and the doctor halted the fight. Chávez, ahead on all scorecards, was declared the winner.

In his next fight, he won the WBC Super Lightweight title by knocking out Roger Mayweather again. After one defense, he faced Meldrick Taylor (see Chavez versus Taylor), the IBF Junior Welterweight champion, in a title unification fight. While Taylor won the early rounds of the fight, Chávez began to come on in the later rounds. Chávez scored a knockdown with sixteen seconds remaining in the fight. Although Taylor rose at the referee's count of six, he did not respond to referee Richard Steele's questions and Steele stopped the fight. Only two seconds remained in the round. Many boxing fans and members of the media were outraged that Steele would stop a match that Taylor was winning with only two seconds left in the fight. Steele defended his decision by saying that his concern is protecting a fighter, regardless of how much time is left in the round. As Steele said, "I was not going to let him take another punch." While many hoped for an immediate rematch, the fighters did not meet again until 1994. Chávez convincingly knocked out a badly faded Taylor in that fight.

[edit] Chávez vs. Haugen Attracts 136,000+

After unifying the titles, Chávez engaged in a busy series of title defenses and non-title fights, including a win over rival Hector Camacho in 1992. In 1993 he faced former world champion Greg Haugen, who tried to get under Chávez's skin by engaging in trash talk. During the buildup to the fight Haugen sneered at Chávez's famous unbeaten record, (then at 82-0), saying that most of Chávez's opponnents were "Tijuana cab drivers that my mother could have knocked out." His trash talk was not limited to Chávez. He also took on the Mexican people. For example, when told that Aztec stadium, where he and Chávez would fight, could hold up to 130,000 people, Haugen replied "There aren't 130,000 Mexicans who can afford tickets."

A crowd of 136,274 people showed up at Estadio Azteca (a record for paid attendance at a fight card). Whatever anger Chávez felt (and there was evidence that it was considerable), he suppressed it and performed in a cool and efficient manner as he went about demolishing Haugen. Although as a toughman Haugen had fought and won against boxers as heavy as 210 pounds, he seemed to be hurt by every blow Chávez threw. By the time the fight was stopped about two minutes into the fifth round, Haugen had been knocked down twice, bloodied, and his face was red and swollen. After the match Haugen ruefully commented "Those cab drivers from Tijuana must be pretty tough." For many of his fans, this seemed to be the very pinnacle of Chávez's career.

[edit] Draw With Whitaker & Suffering First Career Loss

Chávez moved up another weight division to challenge Pernell Whitaker for his WBC Welterweight title in September 1993. While the fight was declared a draw, most thought that Whitaker had clearly won. Chavez returned to the junior welterweight division.

He faced Frankie Randall in January 1994, in a fight that most expected him to easily win. Instead, Randall knocked him down for the first time in his career and won a split decision. Chavez blamed his loss on the referee Richard Steele, who deducted two points from Chavez from low blows, making the difference on the scorecards. The WBC ordered an immediate rematch and Chávez regained the title on a split decision in May, 1994. Randall appeared to be clearly winning the fight when a clash of heads opened a large cut on Chávez's face and forced the referee to intervene. Chávez seemed to indicate that he did not wish to continiue. Because WBC rules stipulate that when an accidental headbutt occurs, the uninjured fighter has a point deducted, Randall had a point taken away. That point proved to be the margin of victory for Chávez as the fight went to a technical decision. Chavez would not give Randall a rubber match until 2004.

[edit] De La Hoya vs. Chávez I & II

Chávez continued to defend his WBC super lightweight title against ordinary opposition until he faced Oscar de la Hoya in 1996. de la Hoya opened up a large cut around Chávez's eye in the first round and battered Chávez until the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round. When de la Hoya moved up to welterweight in 1998, Chávez fought Miguel Angel Gonzalez for the vacant WBC super lightweight title. That fight ended in a draw. He challenged for a title on two other occasions, coming up short in both. In a rematch with de la Hoya for the WBC welterweight belt in September, 1998, Chávez' corner stopped the fight after he suffered a severe laceration on his lip.

[edit] Anointed WBC Mandatory Challenger

He then challenged WBC super lightweight champion Kostya Tszyu in 2000 and was knocked out. Somehow, the WBC installed Chávez as the mandatory contender to Tszyu's title, even though he had not fought at 140 pounds for two years and had recently lost to journeyman Willy Wise.

[edit] Retirement & Farewell Fights

After a 2001 victory over Terry Thomas in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Chávez retired. However, on November 24, 2003, he came out of retirement to avenge his earlier loss to Willy Wise, knocking Wise out in two rounds in Tijuana, Mexico.

In April of 2004, Chávez went back into the ring, for what he again claimed would be his last appearance. In that fight, nicknamed Adiós, México, Gracias (Good-bye, Mexico, Thank you), he beat his former conqueror, Frankie Randall by a ten round decision.

On May 28, 2005, Chávez once again stepped into a boxing ring, outpointing Ivan Robinson over ten rounds at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, the city where he had won his first world title 21 years before.

On September 17, 2005, Chávez suffered a loss to little known Grover Wiley after he retired in his corner before the start of round five, due to an apparent right hand injury. After the bout, Chávez told his promoter Bob Arum that he was definitely retiring from boxing.

[edit] Credentials

Chávez holds a record of 108 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws, with 87 knockouts. He holds the records for most successful defenses of world titles (27) and most title fights (37). Chávez also earned the second best winning streak (89-0) of an undefeated fighter in boxing history. His son, Julio Jr., is also a professional boxer. HI

[edit] Outside the Ring

Chávez wore a black ribbon on the night of September 21, 1985, during his world title defense against Dwight Pratchett, to honor all his countrymen and women who fell during the Mexico City earthquake two days previously.

Chávez's relationship with boxing promoter Don King was controversial. During a short period during the 1990s, Chávez tried to break his ties to King and sign with Bob Arum.

After being threatened by a gang that his son would be kidnapped, Chávez became one of the first people to denounce the kidnappings of famous people's relatives in Mexico during the middle and late 1990s.

Chávez held a short romantic relationship with then budding actress Salma Hayek during 1994.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Preceded by
Hector Camacho
WBC Super featherweight Champion
September 13, 1984 - August 21, 1987
Title next held by
Azumah Nelson
Preceded by
Edwin Rosario
WBA Lightweight Champion
November 21, 1987 - October 29, 1988
Title next held by
Edwin Rosario
Preceded by
José Luis Ramírez
WBC Lightweight Champion
October 29, 1988 - May 13, 1989
Title next held by
Pernel Whitaker
Preceded by
Roger Mayweather
WBC Junior welterweight Champion
May 13, 1989 - December 8, 1990
Title next held by
Preceded by
Kyung Duk Ahn
IBF Junior welterweight Champion
December 8, 1990 - January 29, 1994
Title next held by
Jake Rodríguez
Preceded by
Frankie Randall
WBC Junior welterweight Champion
May 7, 1994 - June 7, 1996
Succeeded by
Oscar de la Hoya